Whist at the Millennium Seedbank in the UK last October I had an interesting conversation with a number of staff over the three week stay...
my ever expanding collection of journals and artist books
One of the people who left me thinking was Vanessa Suttcliffe who's work at the Kew Millennium Seedbank has seen her involved in the following projects:
- Collecting the Flora of Bulgaria
- Collecting the Flora of Kyrgyzstan
- Ex situ Conservation of the Flora of the Caucasus
- Improving the Identification, Handling and Storage of ‘Difficult’ Seeds
- MSB Seed Banking Worldwide
- Millennium Seed Bank China Programme
- Investigating Seed Drying: the Development of Low Technology Drying Options and Methods for Measuring Seed Moisture Status
- Maximising Seed Quality: Maturity and Post-harvest Studies
One area we discussed was the Difficult Seeds Project in Africa ...do read abut that if you have a chance! Another issue that has kept me thinking involves MSB training for Mining companies who undertake Land Stewardship by setting up pre-comencement seed conservation and post-mining restoration work. Vanessa detailed the processes available to companies in the work of Land Stewardship but I could only gather that uptake is not what it could be.
Months later I wonder how often and how many companies actually choose to put into practice this kind of undertaking... expecially in the light of all the noise on CSG mining and general expansion of the industry in this state and beyond. It seemed for a brief moment there might be movement in the direction of sustainability in that industry ... and certainly some countries have done just that. Practices and commitments have been made to foster improvements in this sector but I for one would like to see evidence of it happening in this state... and across the country. At present the Seed lab I worked in during my 2010 residency is not open due to lack of funding.
Given mining expansion in Queensland it seems the very least that could be done is the critical work of collecting wild species from across the state in the effort to monitor seed viability and such. This leaves me questioning what measures are in place to scientifically monitor the changing environment. From what I have learnt to date seeds are actually an incredibly useful and important measure.
Politics and Money, jobs and economy are the big buzzwords... but in terms of longevity... a longer sense of the NOW... what will stack up. This has to be considered far more earnestly ... and might I say far more honestly!
I'll leave you will these images... bye for now!
|Drawing with children one day we innovated with our drawing tools|
|this tiny Casuarina branch became an ink pen... I often use twigs for the earthy Quality they give to linework.|